By Colin Froment – Co-editor-in-chief
Although it is one of the smaller majors on campus, the athletic training program has effectively demonstrated to be one of the most challenging programs offered at Lasell. The students involved have showed their passion to eventually become athletic trainers (AT’s) through countless hours of studying and hands-on experiences.
Assistant Professor and Graduate Athletic Training Program Director Christianne Eason explained what student trainers are doing in the classroom. The curriculum requires them to learn five main components of the industry: injury prevention, injury evaluation and diagnosis, injury rehabilitation and treatment, emergency care, and professional responsibilities for administration. Each unit is taught as the small number of students
in the program progress through their overall college experience. Classes based around the curriculum are designed to prepare student trainers for assessing emergency injuries that can occur while playing sports and how to apply the proper treatment. Other classes also involve detailed examinations into the anatomy of the human body.
They are also trained in rehabilitation, so they can assist athletes in regaining their strength following a serious injury. Documenting reports is also a crucial portion of the program. A lot of the information students learn is similar to what is taught for other health care majors, such as nursing and exercise science, but the professions all require different skill sets.
“[Student AT’s] are helping the well-being of [Lasell’s] student athletes,” said Eason. “Just by being here, they’re educating everyone on what an athletic trainer is.”
Senior athletic training major Ben Michon finds the structure of the program beneficial to his education. “I’m confident in my skills and I learn something new every day that I can use,” Michon said. “You get to be invested with your athletes. You know these people inside out and develop awesome relationships with them.”
The students feel they receive a lot of moral support whenever possible from the full- time trainers. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them,” said Michon. “Even before day one, they’ve been more than supportive.”
Senior athletic training major Mariana McCarthy notes how helpful it is to have professors who were former AT’s. “They’re all very knowledgeable about athletic training,” said McCarthy. “In class, it’s very hands-on and not just Powerpoints.”
Starting sophomore year, students participate in clinical sessions, where they are required to travel to different colleges and universities, participating in their sports pro- grams. Their main responsibilities are to monitor athletes for potential injuries during games and practices, and immediately rush on the field for an assessment if one should occur.
The students are closely monitored by one of the three full-time Lasell trainers, Christopher Noyes, Hilary Turner and Arianna DiOrio, at all times while they perform medical care. This includes evaluating injuries, taping body parts, creating injury prevention plans, and documenting reports. The certi ed faculty trainers are responsible for treating more severe injuries.
AT students are assigned locations by Dr. Mick Kaminsky, the newest Clinical Educational Coordinator. Sophomores must complete 150 hours per semester, while juniors need to complete 200 hours and seniors complete 250 hours. Locations range from Lasell to the College of the Holy Cross and even Harvard University.
Turner described how much of a commitment clinical session are for students. “They’re here for rehab hours during the day, they help prepare the athletes…they’re heavily involved,” said Turner. “We love having them here, teaching them and giving them a good experience.”
Aside from clinicals, student AT’s have opportunities to demonstrate their abilities in professional settings. Students conduct an “ortho clinics” during the annual Connected Learning Symposium, where anyone in the Lasell community who thinks they may have an orthopedic injury can be assessed in front of an audience. AT students are also required to complete Professional Development Units (PDU’s), where they must prove they’ve learned skills from outside of Lasell. All students were also invited to the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts Young Professionals Conference at Boston University this past October, where they engaged with professional trainers and other students in the same eld. Some also attended the Eastern Athletic Trainers Association Conference that occurred in Pennsylvania this year. Last year, Eason and five students volunteered at the medical tent during the Boston Marathon.
“We’re trying to engage students in lots of different opportunities, whether that would be clinical or educational,” said Eason.
Upperclassmen are also mentoring underclassmen in the program, offering advice and support during clinical sessions. “Sometimes, particularly for a younger student, it may be a little bit intimidating,” Eason said. “[The mentorship] can be a safe space to be able to go to another student.”
For a program with few students, there is definitely a special bond they all share with each other. “We spend almost all day, every day with each other, so it’s hard not to develop those relationships,” Michon said. “I know that I have sixteen or seventeen people I can rely on.”
“We’re constantly asking each other questions…always boosting each other’s confidence…and we’re with each other every single day of the week,” said McCarthy. “We’re definitely a tight-knit group.”